Roy Keane suggests Rasmus Hojlund should ‘go down’ to win penalty after Man City given one by VAR

Erling Haaland netted before and after half-time in the Manchester derby

Karl Matchett
Sunday 29 October 2023 17:54 GMT
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Manchester City were awarded a penalty after a VAR review which opened the scoring in their local derby win over Manchester United - but while pundits were mostly in agreement with the call on this occasion, it was a non-penalty which generated discussion later on.

Rodri was dragged back inside the penalty box when a free-kick was swung over for the visitors, with nothing initially being given.

However, the City midfielder appealed vociferously that he was impeded by United striker Rasmus Hojlund, with replays showing an arm across the Spanish player’s chest before he went to ground - and a subsequent check by the video assistant resulted in a spot-kick being given, dispatched by Erling Haaland.

Speaking at the break on Sky Sports, Jamie Carragher noted it wasn’t the most aggressive of challenges and that the hosts could be mildly aggrieved at having it go against them; not necessarily because it was clearly not a foul, but because they’d have similar situations themselves which wouldn’t result in a penalty.

“I feel a bit for United because every team can show an incident like that which they can say they should have had one,” he said.

Alongside him, Micah Richards felt similarly: “He might have got a head on it. It’s soft but in the rules, its definitely a foul.” But both former players suggested Rodri’s reaction might have had an influence on the outcome more than the actuality or severity of Hojlund’s actions, with only Gary Neville describing it as a “soft” decision later on.

However for the third ex-pro in the studio, Roy Keane, it was Hojlund himself who drew attention.

Shortly after the City opener, the Danish striker surged clear and tried to dribble around goalkeeper Ederson, keeping his feet but failing to get a shot away - which Keane said was a clear mistake given the match situation.

“Man City have been sloppy giving the ball away but United have to make the most of [those chances],” he said.

“[Scott] McTominay’s got to be decisive [with his shooting chance], Hojland has to go down for a penalty. I’m not saying to cheat but if he falls into the keeper, we see it all the time. If he goes down and kicks into the goalkeeper, it’s a penalty.

“These are big moments but credit to the keeper. United have been poor but have had one or two chances - they’ve got to take them.”

Shortly after the restart, Haaland scored a second before later teeing up Phil Foden for Man City’s third.

Gary Neville suggested the second-half performance from United was a “shambles” and that they had been “obliterated” by their local rivals, despite feeling the opening penalty was a generous call.

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